Today, landscapes that we inhabit blend the physical and digital. Linguistic landscapes are expressions of formal and informal language policy and may influence whānau (family) language practices. Our research illustrates the ways in which linguistic landscapes of early childhood education (ECE) centres evolve, and explores the related co-evolution with digital technologies (Davis 2018). Around a decade ago ECE centres rapidly adopted digital tools such as iPads and ePortfolios to support children’s learning and since then teachers’ work has evolved so that children may access a healthy blend of their physical and digital worlds. Our National Science Challenges research, E Tipu e Rea, A Better Start, has uncovered opportunities and challenges of the digital world for all learners, focusing on emergent bilinguals. Bilingualism brings lifelong benefits that are particularly valuable to challenged learners, their whānau and communities. Multilingualism is embedded within our exemplary Te Whāriki ECE curriculum in Aotearoa New Zealand. We have evidence from six participating ECE centres of the visibility of home languages within the children’s physical and digital environments and how visibility was enhanced over time, indicating a significant impact of our research. Our recommendations include improvements to policy at local and national levels.
Contemporary globalising processes result in the emergence of new stereotypes and strategies of coexistence of different nations. The motto “Unity in Diversity” has crossed the world and made a deep impact on the dialogue between migrants, ethnic minorities and indigenous population. Translanguaging/plurilingualism and intergenerational transmission have become vital tools for the safeguarding of linguistic minorities (native-speakers of Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian) that have a cultural life at the core of their collective identities. The paper presents progressive state policies of the Republic of Georgia directed towards the integration of ethnic minorities into the Georgian society. It “uncovers” the existence of growing linguistic and cultural diversity due to the historic transnational migration and highlights an utmost importance of the establishment of multilingual educational strategies aimed at teaching the state language as well as the mother tongue of ethnic minorities for the safeguarding of their languages, cultures and even religion. Multilingualism as well as multiliteracy is discussed in the light of a successful “collaboration” of intergenerational transmission and classroom activities. The former deals with the language shift within families of ethnic minorities, while the latter investigates the role of well-organized in-class activities. The paper presents certain insights into multilingual education and makes specific proposals considering the reformation of teaching models and tools (shifting to multimedia facilities, CLIL approach, etc.), because through the use of tools or linguistic resources “individuals negotiate the meaning of their social positions and emerging identities”.
For many transnational families ensuring their children become literate in their minority language is of paramount importance (Li, 2006; Lindholm-Leary, 2012; Berens, Kovelman, & Pettito, 2013; Eisenchalas, Shally & Guillemin, 2013). Parents feel that is important their children attain biliteracy and are able to read both or all of their languages (Ro & Cheatham, 2009), so as to communicate with older family members or access canonical and religious works in their minority language(s). The case of a diglossic language like Arabic poses challenges to parents because the child must learn the spoken language and then learn to read the formal written language (Walldoff, 2017; Said & AlGhamdi, in prep). This ethnographic sociolinguistic study focuses on the home literacy practices of an Arabic-English speaking family in the UK. Data was collected over 24 months (and is still ongoing) through either video or audio recordings and some has been transcribed. The data suggest that the home linguistic environment plays a crucial role in the development of literacy in Arabic, the mother take it upon herself to designate particular times during the week and the father on weekends to overtly teach and monitor the literacy development of their children. The eldest daughter (the focus of this presentation) teaches her younger sibling to also become biliterate (Obeid, 2009; Bridges, 2014; Kheirkhah, 2016). This paper contributes to the growing literature on family language policy and introduced new knowledge about Arabic literacy.
I compare patterns of intergenerational transmission of traditional dialects (TD) across different Arabic-speaking communities in Israel. Traditional local Arabic dialects – spoken by the elders above the age of 70 – include Bedouin, rural, and urban varieties, to a great extent not mutually intelligible. Cross-dialectal mutual intelligibility increases among younger people working in public institutions or state companies and educated in standard Arabic, Hebrew and other modern languages. University life largely contributes to the constitution of a koineized Palestinian educated standard, wherein phonetic and morphological features of each community diminish and fade. Specific lexical inventories that describe the traditional material life, cultural practices, and geographic milieus of every linguistic community are also vanishing under the influence of a modern life style. I compare three dialectal groups: the urban Christian Arabic of Nazareth (Galilee), the rural Muslim Arabic of Kfar Qāsim (Muṯallaṯ) and the Bedouin Arabic of Kseyfeh (Negev). I analyze the following parameters among elders and young people: recognition of TD as part of the identity; motivation for transmitting/learning TD; social factors that prevent/foster TD transmission; social occasions of TD transmission; impact of the number of speakers and of the use of the dialect in literature and media on TD transmission.
This presentation focuses on descriptions of language use among high school students studying Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish and Urdu through mother tongue instruction in Sweden, and Vietnamese as a community language in Australia. Mother tongue instruction in Sweden is an elective school subject available to students who speak languages other than Swedish on a regular basis with at least one guardian. In Australia, community language schools, run by volunteers and often operating on weekends, provide the opportunity to study and develop proficiencies in languages other than English to students who speak these languages with their guardians. Informed by emerging theories of translanguaging as everyday practice and pedagogy, transcriptions of four focus group discussions with 33 students in both these forms of education were analysed to explore how they describe their language use in different contexts. Further, similarities and differences in these student descriptions are discussed in relation to local and national language education policies. Preliminary analysis suggests that when students are not restrained by family or school language policies, they flexibly and strategically draw on a variety of linguistic resources, thus facilitating communication, creating meaning, and reflecting their complex and dynamic plurilingual identities.
Keywords: mother tongue instruction; community language education; translanguaging, plurilingual identities
Francophones of the Saint John Valley (SJV) occupy an international region between Maine and New Brunswick (NB), Canada and the French they speak is largely the product of contact among the Acadian French of NB (brayon), French of nearby Quebec, and English. In the SJV, Maine, a history of repression and lack of institutional support means that this minority language is dying, with older speakers not (fully) transmitting it to younger generations. Though French is in decline in the SJV, Maine, there are still various celebrations and proclamations of Acadian identity, an identity which is largely simplistic given the historical Quebecois presence in the region. The state of French in Maine is intimately tied to how its heritage speakers identify themselves, the (non-)valuing of their variety, and how they exploit “Acadian” identity in the name of symbolic ethnicity all while facing the fact that they are losing their French. In a region where ethnolinguistic labels abound (e.g. Valley French, Franglais, Acadian, Brayon, Quebecois, French Canadian, Franco-American, New England French), which label is most appropriate and how does the fluidity with which “Acadian” is used in the SJV compare to “Cajun” in Louisiana, a sister variety also in decline? After briefly providing some linguistic evidence for the Quebecois presence in the SJV, Maine, this talk will focus on how French speakers in the SJV identify themselves, and how this identity compares to other French enclaves in the US.
Sardinian is a minority language spoken on the island of Sardinia by ca. one million speakers and it is classified today as an endangered language, as the “ability to speak Sardinian has declined from about 80% as ‘very good’ in the parental generation to less than 50% recording the same level of ability for their siblings” (Salminen, 1993). The status of Sardinian as endangered language is strictly related to the lack of intergenerational transmission (Mensching, 2000), whose roots can be found in the strong relationship between language and identity, as “intergenerational transmission […] is clearly affected by language ideologies” (Campell & Christian, 2003, p.4). Due to historical and political events, Sardinian has gained a different social status in comparison to Italian, which overlaps with the subordinated role that the island has played and still plays today in the Italian geopolitics. The decline of the number of Sardinian speakers can be seen then as a vivid example of the effects of idealization processes on language perception, use, and maintenance. However, together with some regional regulations passed by the government in recent years aimed to “rescue” Sardinian (Maxia, 2017), the authors of the so-called Sardinian Literary Spring are also playing a key role in the restore of its prestige. In this paper, I argue that authors such as Marcello Fois, Salvatore Niffoi, and Milena Agus, with their linguistic choices, are contributing to the intergenerational transmission of a cultural and linguistic heritage that would get lost otherwise. This study focuses specifically on those strategies and linguistic elements used by the authors of the Sardinian Literary Spring that are contributing today to the maintenance and transmission of Sardinian.
Professor Monica Axelsson from Stockholm University held a Prestige Lecture at the University of Canterbury on 9 February 2017.;
The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria have forced a high number of people to leave their countries and seek refuge elsewhere. Sweden, in the north of Europe, has recently received a large number of refugees. The reception of new arrivals has greatly affected society as a whole and schools in particular. Professor Axelsson presents findings from a recent three-year research project investigating how municipalities and schools in Sweden have organised instruction to meet the needs of the newly arrived. The two main reception models used for newly arrived students are introductory classes or immediate mainstreaming. These models have been examined with respect to the resources provided for students’ everyday and academic language and literacy development and social inclusion.
Professor Axelsson visited the School of Teacher Education and the LATL-lab in 2017 as Visiting Canterbury Fellow.
At a Parent and carer workshop on raising children bilingually on 3rd November 2016, we asked participants to share problems they have experienced on post-its and pass them to the front. This was originally a post in the LATL-lab blog. It has been republished here to ensure it remains available in the event of the LATL-lab site being shut down.
Here they are! We will be addressing some of these problems parents and carers have experienced raising children bilingually in these pages, and we will link to answers as we compose them. Meanwhile, take a look at our sister site on Growing up with Two Languages.
Not enough people to practice the language with.
I am not a native Japanese speaker, so my husband feels it is unnatural speaking Japanese as a family at home- this makes it hard for him to choose Japanese. As I speak Japanese as 2nd language I often struggle with confidence.
I am a grandmother. My son’s wife is Dutch, and they are speaking Dutch to their child. I don’t speak Dutch, so how can I support a child growing up in New Zealand with a Dutch-speaking mother?
If you speak with broken English people assume you to be less smart.
How do I make sure my son can explain himself in day care? When he needs something he mostly uses Persian words! When other kids talk with him in English, he can’t communicate well in English which I am not sure if that affect his self-esteem. He just turned two.
Afraid that child will not be able to speak English and not able to communicate with people outside.
Kids do not like to learn home language. We don’t have or it is difficult to find materials. Poor teaching skills.
In-laws being “afraid” or against the minority language.
Only one parent speaks the language and it is the father. No other families speak the language. It is easier to speak English than French.
Partner doesn’t speak my language, so I tend to speak in English most of my time.
As children get older, avoiding talking to the parent because it’s too hard and they know they’re allowed to speak English to other parent.
How to let a child get used to a second language as quicker as possible?
Create a Chinese speaking environment for children.
Those who don’t understand don’t like hearing me speaking the language.
168 languages spoken in NZ. Intergenerational transmission has been interrupted.
Teachers not knowing or using the minority language.
Only fluent parent passed away. Immigrant families put into preschools with no English comprehension.
Husband not understanding the second language. Not able to communicate effectively with others who don’t speak my language.
Expectation you can speak more of the majority language only when say “hello” or thank you in their language. Parent, teachers and my children only want to speak English.
Explaining forms to families that don’t speak English.
English speaking parent desperately wanting to speak minority languages but , minority language speakers switch constantly to English, or excluded from minority speaking, events as they don’t want English influence.
From teacher to parent on phone is often quite hard as you cannot use non-verbal cues etc. that you use face to face.
Embarrassment and confusion between English and home language. No English speaking parent.
Daughter is at primary school and friends and everything is in English. I feel like can’t speak our language in front of others. Fear of my kids feeling ashamed to speak their home language.
Parents do not speak the native language. Fear of child hearing me as a parent speaking English to other children, afraid he will start speaking English with me instead of the minority language.
How to teach our children Chinese structurally? Send them to Chinese school because we only speak and talk Chinese at home, but what to do with reading and writing.
Proficiency in speaking the minority language as a second language learner. Using Te reo Maori confidently in public in a way that makes the learners comfortable.
I want my husband to understand when I speak to our kids from a mother speaking a minority language not spoken by my husband.
Not a lot of options available. E.g. my child goes to Japanese school every Saturday; it is that only Japanese school. If he doesn’t fit in that school, I won’t have any other option to get support from. It also costs a lot.
Parents don’t speak each other’s native language, like husband is Korean and wife is Chinese.
One parent feels left out because he doesn’t understand minority language. As bilingual speakers being afraid of native speakers making mistakes. My daughter replied in English. Do I insist on her replying in minority?
We are reluctant to speak our home language in front of others. It needs education of society to become more normal.
Access to other families of the same stage to help support children family language. Language is potentially going to be only an isolated thing.
Child understands minority language but replies in English. Child prefers songs in English.
Not enough exposure e.g. books, shows, friends that speak my language. So I forget and I am not motivated.
Even though mom speaks the minority language to her daughter, the child doesn’t speak it and always answers in the majority language.
Do you recognise these problems? I certainly do! Feel free to offer some suggestions yourself in the comments to this post. Write the number of the problem(s) you are responding to. Check our past events page to find out about other workshops the LATL-lab has arranged.
In September 2016 the LATL-lab held a workshop at the University of Canterbury for parents and carers on Motivating reluctant children to speak a home language. This was the second workshop of three in 2016 for parents and carers. This post was originally published on the LATL-lab blog and is reproduced here to ensure it continues to be available in the event of that site being shut down.
The participants were invited to share their ideas for increasing the input children get in the minority language, and increasing the children’s need to use the language.
Here are a selection of the suggestions shared by participants about how to create opportunities for children to have more language input and interaction
Use software to increase language input: interactive games/ apps in target language on iphones, ipads computers
Smart phone, TV in home language
Switch electronic devices to the target language
Interactive toys that speak the minority language
Online interaction with native speakers (relatives or friends)
Video conference (Skype) with monolingual family members
Skype time with relatives & other kids in the other country
Bring the iPad with Skype conversation into the lego box to join the children’s play
Reading books, magazines or other materials
Reading books in minority language
Magazine subscriptions (Paper or online)
Audio books – Buy or borrow from libraries Swap with other families
Comic books written in the minority language, they will be motivated to know how to read
Carer reading story books and recasting it into the minority language
Book club in the minority language
Arrange minority language teaching classes with the help of some other families with the same language
Send the child to community language school if it exists
Alliance Francaise/ Confucius/ Goethe institute
Parent can visit the class at school
Private language lessons appropriate for their ages
Access to other children of the same culture Build a network of friends in minority language
Play groups with minority languages (coffee together for carers!)
Community groups and cultural community based activities
Games – Play groups in home language
Preparing a short speech or song to be presented in the community gatherings
Join the Vietnamese events – that improves both the language and culture knowledge
Making gatherings and functions for those people who speak same language: eg independence celebrations, potluck dinner,
Share kai – traditional/ cultural food with other speakers of the minority language
Language weeks celebrated
Contact with the old country
Get children to write to monolinguals (pen/email pals, birthday cards to family members in home country)
Sending to parents who speak the minority language to stay there for a while, or home stay in minority language country or someone’s place in NZ
At home (notice the varying levels of ambition here, and that some families have more than one parent or carer who speaks the minority language, while others may be alone in their language with a partner who doesn’t speak their language)
Only speak native language at home. Strict rule!
Always speak minority language to anyone who speaks it, even outside home. Don’t worry about the English!
Let children hear the language all the time. Children automatically learn and understand the language spoken to them
Dinner time table talk in Maori/ Samoan only learn new phrases for this time Bath time/ Bed time
Getting majority language speaking parent to participate in minority language learning Making it a game!
A day of the week or time of the day when only minority language spoken
Create environment for the language: Make a language island and speak the language at home
Encourage children to chat at home in first language and find friends to interact with who also have the first language
Have a party with minority language theme
Getting mum + dad to speak Samoan to the kids
We as parents speaking our languages to children
Asking grandparents to speak only their language when we are around them
Ask other members of the family to encourage the child to speak mother language
Set aside a special time for an activity in L2 each day (something fun, eg making craft, story time/ singing nursery rhymes) keeps it current and fun for kids
Children have to speak minority language when they ask for buy things they want
Have a language day at home where you only speak one language eg during dinner or games
Strategies: In early childhood, have puppets to role play
Enrol them in a sports club that speaks minority language and buy them video games of minority languages
Labels around the house to help children learn words
Karakia (prayers) written and at the dinner table
Celebrating special events for them
Participating minority language culture/game
Join cultural club in minority language Learn poems, songs, and rhymes
Use the minority language: Greetings, Music, Dancing, Food, Dressing up
Make a time for the language hour at home (Every Sunday morning or so)
Board games with language, can have other language speakers and they explain with certain idioms
Word games (I Spy, charades etc) with prizes Cultural classics and amazing moments in history, as told in target language
Creative play – using words
Traveling to where the target language is spoken
Travelling through South America to immerse in Spannish
Trip to iwi areas
Send him to my mum to only speak Swedish
To make friends with the same language children Back to our country for a while
Holiday back to china to enrol into a local school for a month
Shared holidays with other families
Going camping together
School activities and school strategies to motivate students
Pre-school or kindergarten in an international setting
School wide speech competition presentation – poetry or short story bilingually per term
Preparing for events at school where the kids are expected to use their home languages
A language week of their own culture within school setting
Find (or start) a local pre-school that teaches the language and culture
Sharing your culture language with teachers and children we want to learn more
Have language competition days
Involve school/ pre-school by assisting child to share their language with other kids using posters etc (eg body parts labelled)
sharing things about their culture with the older kids in school
parents participating in school activities and kids taking roles
Schooling: language cultural activities, ie Kapahaka
Materials for target language (CDs, videos, music, Youtube, radio)
Music in native language
Drama/cartoons/ films in native language
Web radio station – cheap and efficient can have it on all day
Watch TV programs: TV on demand
Digital music, movies (DVDs in Spanish), CDs in the car
Picnics and playing music and dancing
YouTube – songs, Action songs
Friends/ family send videos of them
Songs are fabulous for children language development
Kids TV show: Find Samoan & Maori language programmes to watch
Video that children like and watch again and again
Show videos of other countries. They will know that there are other people that speak other languages to learn a minority language
Stories, songs, with gaps that the children fill
Watch video clips with them and strategically ask questions
Watch music videos and listening to music in that language
Encourage kids to learn nursery rhymes/songs from minority culture & play CDs so they can sing along
Strategies for motivating children (these won’t all suit all parenting styles and beliefs)
Encourage them to play and communicate with their peers
Encourage children to speak / learn own language
Pretend not to speak language – child helps parent
School teachers can encourage children to learn their language
Praise out loud especially for younger children. They are happy when we praise them
Letting child choose a movie or a game in minority language for a Friday family night treat
Using the language positively and not for correction Make the language fun!
Showing the benefits opportunity of being bilingual eg business, travel, sports
Having more input at home, invite minority language speakers to come and visit
Pull and not push them towards the minority language
Make them proud of being bilingual, show that it’s special that they have access to things non-speakers don’t Build the self-esteem of the child
Lots of trips back home at least once a year
Reward children when they use the minority language
Appeal to heritage/ love of family/ ancestors’ identity
Make them feel speaking a second language is special and important
Give them a chance to use it and feel like it is important
Being responsive in expressing and hearing minority language spoken
Introduce our culture, like festivals, rituals, mysteries, stories to our children as early as possible, so they have attachment with their culture through the language
Support their interests eg baseball with children who speak the minority language
Bribe them Make your culture more fun to them
Build interest in some areas, for example, games in some areas of interest and learn language from there: Chinese chess for example
Fun things Eg Japanese animation Kids love them
Only respond to the child when the child speaks in the minority language Reform the child prior expectancy and response
Stickers – use for special acknowledgment
Satisfying for my son when he knows the words to sing along!
Recasting what they say in English into the minority language is better than pretending not to understand what they say
Helping teachers to learn basics of children’s home language
Treats for children when they speak the minority language
Dinner table language Get the food etc when use minority language
Having a family outing where we only speak the minority language
Cooking together & recipes
Nanny/ Au pair who only speaks French
This is a short made-for-the-web version of the presentation given that evening.